HC Deb 29 June 1944 vol 401 cc799-800
52. Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether the pilotless plane is being considered in connection with post-war activities; and whether plans are being made for developing it for the purpose of despatching mail over long distances at high speed and frequent intervals on regular routes.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Pilotless aircraft were developed and used some years before the war for certain purposes. The possibilities of such aircraft for commercial use, including the carriage of mail, are certainly not overlooked by my Department.

Captain Plugge

In view of the knowledge we have acquired in the use of explosives, will my right hon. and gallant Friend consult with the Postmaster-General over the result of the experiments of sending mail by rocket?

Captain Balfour

I think there is some confusion in the mind of my hon. and gallant Friend. Flying bombs of the kind now in use by the enemy are an entirely different proposition. They are not expected to land safely at a particular destination, and they cannot be used more than once. Commercial aircraft are expected to land at their expected destinations, and are expected to do so repeatedly.

Mr. Denman

Would it not be unfortunate if mail addressed to Switzerland arrived in Sweden?